Religious Education



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Sr. Philomena Fleck, O.S.B. Director of Religious Education
Dolores Seabolt Secretary, Religious Education
(845) 255-0237

 Brother Salvatore Patricola, O.F.M., Cap. Director of R.C.I.A
(845) 255-5635  Extension 108

Donna Wirthmann, Director of R.C.I.A. adapted for Children

(845) 255-5635  Extension 101

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults): a Catholic formation / education program. The RCIA Program is for people interested in full initiation into the Catholic Church through the celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist. It is also for Catholics who have been Baptized and have not celebrated the sacraments of Confirmation and/or Eucharist. Those who are interested please phone the Parish Office and ask for Fr. Barnabas, 845-255-5635, ext. 103. 

RCIA Adapted for Children: We also serve children from the 3rd to 8th grade that are in need of age appropriate sacraments.  Call Donna Wirthmann at the Parish Office, 255-5635, ext. 101.  Classes have begun on Monday evenings from 6:45 - 8pm in the Church Hall.

Schedule of Classes  2011/2012

4 year olds (by 9/01), and Kindergarten - Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Sunday Parish Center Atrium 9:30 -10:30 a.m.
Grades 1-8 Sunday Parish Center 10:45  - 12:15pm
Grades 6 Tuesday Parish Center 2:45- 4:15 p.m.
Grades 1-5 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Grades 1-8 Tuesday Parish Center 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Grades 1-8 Wednesday Parish Center 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Good Shepherd Thursday Parish Ctr. 6:00 - 7:30pm
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) - click for information Monday Parish Center 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.), adapted for children - click for information Monday Church Hall 6:45 - 8:00 p.m.





 Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (4 year-olds (by 9/01), and Kindergarten)
Kate Jonietz, Program Coordinator

St. Joseph has started an exciting new program, the "Catechesis of the Good Shepherd".  This program is an approach to the religious formation of children, rooted in the Bible, the liturgy of the church, and the educational principles of Maria Montessori.  It fosters the unique relationship between the child and God. The growth of that relationship is assisted by trained adult "catechists" but is directed by the spirit of God within the child.  Children gather in an "atrium", a room prepared for them, which contains simple yet beautiful materials for their use.  Our atrium is made possible by a grant from the National Association of the Blind.

The central image for the child six and under is the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who calls his sheep by name. "The Sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out" (John 10:3). Jesus came to live among us and show us God and said, "I am the Good Shepherd". He protects his sheep and calls them when they are lost, even gives his life for them. This is our God, the Good Shepherd.

The program is open to 4 year-olds, and Kindergarten children. For further information, please contact the church office or e-mail us at stjoenp@csdsl.net.


The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Curriculum

The curriculum is based on the essentials of the Christian faith. The learning components are:
bulletBecoming familiar with the physical elements in the sacrament of the Eucharist
bulletLearning that in the sacrament of Baptism we are beginning a new life as a member of God's family
bulletDeveloping personal prayers of praise and thanksgiving
bulletCelebrating important feasts of Christmas and Easter
bulletRecognizing the seasons of the church calendar and their liturgical colors
bulletListening to a storyteller relate Bible parables
bulletWorking with wooden figures and materials to retell parables

Grade 1 Curriculum
The objective of the Grade 1 curriculum is to develop an awareness of God who gives life and grace to us, the wonders of creation, and the promise of eternal life.  Through pray and worship we respond with love and gratitude to God.  Children learn the Sign of the Cross, the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Glory Be, and the first statement of the Apostles' Creed.  The main theme of the Grade 1 curriculum is that God is our Father who loves us; Jesus is the Son of God who tells us about our Father; and the Holy Spirit helps us to be holy.

Grade 2 Curriculum
The objective of the Grade 2 curriculum is to present Jesus as the model for Christian living.  We are in awe of God's wonderful gifts of human life and of grace, a sharing in God's own life.  We are to care for and respect the life of the unborn, the disabled, the elderly and all persons.  We need help to live the Christian life, and one of the greatest helps is the Sacraments.  Children learn the Act of Contrition, the Apostles' Creed to the words "from the dead", and simple responses at the Mass.  The main theme of the Grade 2 curriculum is that Jesus comes to nourish and strengthen the God-life, grace, within us.

Grade 3 Curriculum
The objective of the Grade 3 curriculum is to deepen the child's understanding of the Church and to help the child experience the Church as Christian Community.  The children learn that God sent His Son, Jesus, to show us how to love God, others and ourselves.  As members of the Church, we are to do all we can to continue Jesus' mission of bringing the Good News of Salvation to all the world.  The children learn the remainder of the Apostles' Creed and review the prayers learned in the previous grades.  The main theme of this curriculum is that Jesus continues His life and work through His Church.

Grade 4 Curriculum
The objective of the Grade 4 curriculum is to help the children form their consciences according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and to learn the basis of Christian morality especially as taught in the Old and New Testaments.  Holiness is sharing in God's goodness and responding to God's love by the way we live, especially by the love we show our neighbor, the poor, the needy and even our enemies.  We need to listen to the Holy Spirit who is always present, guiding us throughout our day.  The children learn the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary, the Act of Faith and the Stations of the Cross.  The main theme of the Grade 4 curriculum is that as God's people we are called to live as Jesus did, choosing a life of love, characterized by obedience to God and service to others.

Grade 5 Curriculum
The objective of the Grade 5 curriculum is to help the child to become a conscious and active member of the Church through an appreciation and celebration of its sacramental life, and to experience and understand the rites of the Sacraments.  By preparing for and receiving the sacraments prayerfully, our relationship with the Risen Lord is deepened, and we are strengthened to live the Christian life more fully.  The children learn the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary and the Act of Love.  The main theme of the Grade 5 curriculum is that through the Sacraments, the Church celebrates the life-giving signs of Christ's saving action in our lives.

Grade 6 Curriculum
The objective of the Grade 6 curriculum is to help the child understand the Old Testament as the revelation of God in the history of a people, a revelation fulfilled in the New Testament.  The Bible is an important guide for living as a Christian.  It should be a regular source for study and prayer in order to grow in the understanding of ourselves and of God's loving will for us.  Like men and women in the Hebrew Scriptures, we are called to live by faith and trust in God.  God's faithfulness to us is the model for our faithfulness to Him and to one another.  The children learn the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary and the Act of Hope.  The main theme of this curriculum is that God's saving actions are found through history.  The Bible, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, records God's plan of salvation.

Grade 7 Curriculum
The objectives of the Grade 7 curriculum are to develop a sense of self-worth and self-love nurtured and strengthened by a knowledge of God's love; to broaden the adolescent's understanding of the Gospels through a study of their formation, themes, message, and literary aspects; to help the adolescent understand, appreciate, and celebrate the continuing presence and saving action of Jesus in the Church; and to assist the adolescent to grow in a desire for an appreciation of prayer as integral to a full Christian life.  The children learn about different types of prayer, including liturgical prayer, meditation, contemplation, devotional prayer, shared prayer and hymns.

Grade 8 Curriculum
The objectives of the Grade 8 curriculum are to help the adolescent understand the elements which are essential to developing positive relationships; to deepen the adolescent's knowledge of the history of the Church; to help the adolescent grow in an understanding of the responsibilities of a relationship with Jesus in one's life; to help the adolescent develop skills for moral decision making; and to help the adolescent appreciate the gift of sexuality and develop correct and positive attitudes concerning one's sexuality.  The children learn how to develop a Catholic conscience and the process of making good moral choices and avoid temptation.



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